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Alice Henneman, MS, RD, UNL Extension in Lancaster County
Got an abundance of apples? Perhaps you found a good deal on them at the store or farmers' market, but you can't eat them all now.
If you'd like to freeze them, but you're not sure how you'll use them later, try "tray freezing" them as individual slices -- you can even leave the skins on. Then, pour out as many as you need, when you need them. Tray frozen apples work best in cooked apple dishes.
Here's how to tray freeze:
- Slice apples to desired thickness.
- To prevent browning, treat them with a "produce protector" such as Fruit-Fresh®, following package directions.
- Freeze apple slices in a single layer on a metal baking sheet until frozen, a couple of hours.
- Transfer frozen apples to a "freezer" bag, excluding as much air as possible from the bag. The apples will remain separated for ease of use in measuring out for recipes.
- Pour out the amount of frozen apples needed, reseal the bag and return to the freezer. It is generally recommended frozen fruits and vegetables be eaten within about 8 months for best quality.
For a quick microwave apple sauce, place the frozen apple slices in a microwave-safe dish. Add about two teaspoons of water per apple. Cover and microwave on high until tender. Microwaving frozen slices from two apples on high takes about 5 minutes; stir once during cooking. Adjust time upwards for more apples. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste after cooking.